By Kelly Gerrish and David Flynn
England may not be the most successful footballing nation, but we have produced some memorable players throughout the years. Who wears the Three Lions in right on the line’s Ultimate England XI?
Gordon Banks – Goalkeeper – 73 caps, 0 goals
Banks is a World Cup winning goalkeeper but his career is defined by the greatest save of all time. His instinctive reaction to deny Pele a certain goal in the 1970 World Cup makes him our number one.
Jimmy Armfield – Right Back – 43 caps, 0 goals
One of England’s finest ever defenders, he made the right back position his own for seven years and captained the team at the 1962 World Cup. Widely considered to be the best right back in the world.
Bobby Moore – Centre Back – 108 caps, 2 goals
Considered by Pelé to be the greatest defender that he had ever played against, Moore was England’s finest captain who led his country to our proudest triumph. He became a national icon as a result, epitomising what it meant to be English.
Terry Butcher – Centre Back – 77 caps, 3 goals
Who can forget the iconic image of him with blood pouring down his face and covering his shirt but still playing on? The battle-bruised warrior footballer literally shedding blood, sweat and tears for his country. Modern day footballers should take note.
Stuart Pearce – Left Back – 78 caps, 5 goals
Known as Psycho for his unforgiving style of play, Pearce is probably best remembered for missing the decisive penalty in Italia 90. But his 100% commitment and never say die attitude secure his place in our ultimate team.
David Beckham – Right Midfield – 115 caps, 17 goals
Becks has come a long way since the dark days of his sending off against Argentina in 1998. His stand out performance and last-gasp free kick against Greece to send England to the 2002 World Cup epitomised the mental strength and leadership we came to expect from our number seven.
Bobby Charlton – Centre Midfield – 106 caps, 49 goals
England’s all time highest scorer, Charlton was an integral part of the 1966 World Cup winning team. He was known for being an honest player, always showing respect to his opponents. 44 years after his retirement, he remains one of England’s most capped players
Bryan Robson – Centre Midfield – 90 caps, 26 goals
Known as Captain Marvel with good reason. His courage and industry endeared him to management, team-mates and fans alike. He wins his place in our ultimate team because of his defence-splitting pass and unbeatable spirit.
Paul Gascoigne – Left Midfield – 57 caps, 10 goals
Gazza’s flawed genius should not take away from the player he was and what he could do with a ball. His goal against Scotland in Euro 1996 will be remembered as one of England’s best ever goals (just don’t mention the celebration.) Gazza is the archetypal English football hero.
Gary Lineker – Striker – 80 caps, 48 goals
If there is one English striker who knew how to find the back of the net in a World Cup, it was Lineker. He scored six goals at the 1986 World Cup to win the tournament’s Golden Boot before scoring another four at Italia 90. His international goals-to-games ratio remains one of the best for England.
Alan Shearer – Striker – 63 caps, 30 goals
Shearer really burst onto the international stage in Euro 1996, finishing the competition as the top scorer. He was the perfect all-round centre forward who could be relied upon to stay cool under pressure. The Premier League’s record goalscorer, Shearer captained England on 34 occasions.
Bobby Robson – Manager
Robson managed England for eight years, through two of the most memorable World Cup campaigns. The Hand of God, Gazza’s tears, losing to Germany in the semi-final in 1990, Robson steered the ship through some of England’s greatest moments in recent history.